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Anytime a popular author creatively stretches outside of their
bread-and-butter genre, they run a certain risk. Stephen King has
done it, to the extent that he has had to endure some disingenuous
howls over whether he is striving to become known as a "serious"
writer. Robert Parker has tried it once or twice, straying away
from his Spenserian mystery environs to (unfortunate and
unjustified) commercial ho-hums. It's kind of like opening that